BOLTON LEAGUE: Megan leads the way
MEGAN Fairclough is establishing herself in the Bolton League after becoming the first female ever to play first-team cricket in either of the town’s two major cricket leagues.
The 22-year-old played her second league game for Egerton against Westhoughton a week last Saturday, her first coming against Eagley on July 28.
She also played in the National Knockout last season and against St Anne’s in the Lancashire Knockout earlier this season.
Bolton league cricket has been going for 125 years, the Bolton League being formed when it broke away from the Bolton Association in 1930.
No woman had every played in a first team in either league until Fairclough’s appearance in the National KO last season.
And when she featured against Eagley six weeks ago, she became the first woman ever to play a league game in either of the two Bolton leagues.
That historic appearance seemed to open the floodgates, with 20-year-old Chloe Wallwork becoming the first female to play in the Bolton Association, for Walshaw on August 10, and Satchi Pai playing for Astley Bridge in the Bolton League on August 24.
Trailblazer Fairclough did not bat or bowl in her inaugural league appearance, but she was given the chance in her second, and she took it with both hands, outshining her team-mates with the ball.
“She was by far and away our best bowler against Westhoughton,” said Egerton captain Will Halton.
“She’s done well and also played in our Twenty20 game against Blackrod last week.
“She bowls medium pace away swing and is our leading wicket taker in the second team.
“Against Westhoughton she bowled five overs and did exceptionally well.
“She was economical compared to everyone else on our side, and she was bowling against Westhoughton’s two best players, the pro Qaiser Abbas and the amateur Atiq uz-Zaman.
“She also batted and was one not out.”